Even now, I have days where in a split second, I will think of calling my Dad and asking him a question (usually about something totally useless) I would call him a lot. When we first moved to the house next door to the Café, I would call him with my breakfast order and he would bring it in to me. As a child, I would wake him up in the night for a drink and he would always happily oblige, sometimes even going into the café to get me a frothy glass of milk. Just to confirm again, the Café was next door! Spoilt wasn’t I?
I didn’t even really consider how he went above and beyond without a grumble but, yet, now in the position of having two young children, I appreciate it even more. Particularly because there are days when I am ready to tear my hair out and I wish I had my Dad to make me feel better by getting me a glass of milk.
Why is it that as soon as you go into a supermarket, your once well behaved child will turn into Chucky on a bad day and with an irritable bladder, coupled with an endless rendition of, ‘can I have this’ and ‘I’ve always wanted one of these’, even if said thing is a turnip as you couldn’t possibly leave a shop without furnishing them with something.
This is how my Dad always was, nothing was too much trouble and that is why I wish I could still bug him on a daily basis with pointless questions and useless requests. We reversed our roles at the end of his life after I became his legs and yet I still don’t think that I did him any justice in comparison to how he had cared for me. I wish I could have given him back just even an amoeba sized amount in return so he could feel just how grateful I was and just how lucky I felt.
When my brother and I were little, we spent a lot of time on our own due to the sheer amount of time that our parents worked in the Café. I got used to my own company in summer holidays and filled most of my time with learning all the words to pivotal musicals and patching up Barbie’s after the terrible accidents they suffered on a regular basis. That pink camper van must have seen more cliff dives than Red Bull. I remember when one lost an eye. It was a painstaking operation to return her from the brink of a terrible fate. Thankfully, I was an expert optical surgeon and she pulled through.
We never missed out though. We would go to Torquay every Sunday and Exeter every Thursday afternoon (when they shut the Café half day) I have so many happy memories of our days out, obviously excluding the Texas Homecare incident and the time I nearly amputated my Brother’s finger with the car cigarette lighter. But, I never felt alone. Not like I have done in later life when I have been unhappy in my personal life. I don’t really like to be alone now that I am so happy because I worry that it won’t end (the being alone), that I may be alone again through no choice of my own. I never chose to be strong, I had to be. That was very lonely though.
Sybil was good company. Especially with Deely Boppers naturally!
I never really called my Mum. Mainly because there were no mobile phones then and I never really went anywhere without her. I went to Italy when I was 14 with one of my best friends and I can remember standing in the shower whilst I was there and ‘crying my eyes out’ because I missed my Mum so much. I will never forget how I felt when I was able to come home to her. Actually, when I came home I was horrible to her as she had redecorated my entire bedroom on the proviso that it was much more grown up! My lovely reassuring pink ‘Snatch’ bedroom accessories had been replaced with black, turquoise and yellow with a simple cat silhouette on my grown up duvet. Any child in the 90’s will remember the Snatch phenomenon, a duvet set that appeared like a big brown dog was in the bed with you…genius.
Ironically, I did really grow up on that Italy trip but, I was so happy to come home to my Mum. She was right though, the new version was much more grown up and I did thank her for it as soon as I had stopped being a horrid brat!
My Mum had a best friend from her teens and beyond.She was always a constant in my life when I was growing up and she still is now. She is pretty much the only constant that has remained with me from the day I was born to the (cough cough) 34 year old I am now.My Godmother Ro is amazing. Quite confusingly, she is actually called Caroline but, I call her Ro. Ro and Mo it was in their younger days and my Mum and her were most excellent friends throughout the years. She is my Godmother and subsequently, she is now my daughters Godmother too. I knew that she would remain in my daughters life in the same way and this is exactly what I wanted. So often we have Godparents that are merely that in name and quite honestly, I have always thought, what is the point in that?
When I was young, my Godmother would always send me little parcels containing pretty tins and heart shaped bath pearls with added glitter. Can you still get bath pearls? Anyway, she still sends me little parcels and thoughtful letters now but, most importantly, she is there for me in a massive way. You know sometimes you can have a friend whom you don’t talk to for a while and yet when you do talk to them, you feel like you never had any time apart? Well, that is how we are and that is how her and my Mum were. Bearing in mind that she is still in Wiltshire and we are now Devonians. My Mum loved her wholeheartedly and so do I.
This photo is one of my most treasured possessions.
I love the fact that she knew my Mum and was there for her too in the same way. Judging from my Mum’s photos and naughty stories, they also had a bloody good laugh! Well, she is a laugh and in the most excellent way, she is utterly and fabulously bonkers. Everyone needs a bit of bonkers in their life and I certainly want her to know how grateful I am to her for adding a little bonkers into mine and most importantly leaving a window open to the memory of my wonderful, beautiful and massively missed Mum.
I had this amazing card last week 🙂